So I wrote this entry a week ago, and forgot to publish it. TYPICAL ME. Anyway, here goes.
A coffee cart isn’t exactly a home project, but I love the way this project turned out so much that I want to share this here. Besides, I’d like to think that I was able to use all the things I’ve learned in my interior design education into designing the cart.
When my parents asked us—their daughters and sons-in-law—to take a more active role in growing Cafepino, I couldn’t help but feel excited. Cafepino is our family’s very own coffee mix. My parents started it almost a decade ago, and through the years we’ve contributed to improving its taste, its quality, its look, but all the while struggling to get it into the instant coffee market.
This year, after taking a marketing seminar, we all realized that maybe we were tapping into the wrong market, or that we weren’t making the right marketing moves. So we rebranded and thought up crazy ideas on how to get Cafepino out there.
Then we got the idea of building a coffee cart.
We needed a way to create brand equity, as well as to introduce Cafepino to the right demographic. Without going into technical detail, we felt that a coffee cart would help us get noticed. We all love the brand—I myself swear by it, and cannot drink anything else (and believe me, in studying the market, I’ve tried a LOT of coffee mix brands)—so we were confident of the product’s quality. A coffee cart seemed to hit all the aspects we needed to cover in introducing our brand to the right market.
Without any experience in product design, my husband and I searched through Google and OLX for food carts we could buy. At first, we thought of just buying a sidecar and outfitting it with a cart, courtesy of our driver-cum-carpenter-and-all-around-handyman. But my brother in law suggested to really spend for it by enlisting the services of an actual food cart manufacturer. Thanks to my husband’s OLX-searching skills, we found SND Enterprises.
All I did was draw up a rough sketch of my design, and sent it to them with several pegs and some of our must-haves, including:

  • wooden sidings
  • black steel frame
  • black roof and upper storage
  • and removable parts (to make it easier to transport)

It was fairly easy to deal with them, even when we only had one meeting with their sales personnel at the fabrication site. We had to make several design adjustments along the way, all of which I simply communicated to my contact via text.
We gave them a very tight timeframe, because we had partnered with my sister’s catering company, Pink Plate Food Company, who had already acquired booth space at Yummy Eats 2015, Yummy magazine’s annual food extravaganza, for November 7. But while we didn’t have the cart yet, my husband and I worked on training our newly hired “baristas” how to make and serve hot and iced versions of our drink. Luckily, the supplier delivered the coffee cart right on the day before the event, and that night, we “practiced” our booth design with Pink Plate. It was all hastily done, I admit, but I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.
Anyway, here are photos of The Coffee Cart by Cafepino!

Yummy Eats 2015 The Coffee Cart by Cafepino
Booth #51: Pink Plate Street Cafe, a partnership between Pink Plate Food Company and Cafepino Coffee Mix, featuring The Coffee Cart by Cafepino! 🙂

Yummy Eats 2015 The Coffee Cart by Cafepino Yummy Eats 2015 The Coffee Cart by Cafepino
Yummy Eats 2015 The Coffee Cart by Cafepino
We just stenciled this one using chalkboard spray paint, so it’s a bit rough around the edges :p

Yummy Eats 2015 The Coffee Cart by Cafepino
Yummy Eats 2015 The Coffee Cart by Cafepino
We had cups and sleeves printed with the brand new logo of Cafepino Coffee Mix, which my friend, Paula Pangan (former art director of Cosmopolitan Philippines magazine), designed.

Yummy Eats 2015 The Coffee Cart by Cafepino
We were gunning for the Yummy Eats People’s Choice Award, but Pufft, the booth with the marshmallow puffs, won people over!

Yummy Eats 2015 The Coffee Cart by Cafepino
We loved how The Coffee Cart turned out, and we got plenty of comments at the festival about how nice it looked. The EIC and publisher of Yummy Magazine both told me how they loved The Coffee Cart. That was a definite (ego) boost!
Even if we didn’t get to reach our sales quota for the day, we were able to get plenty of exposure. We even had customers loving the taste of Cafepino, and we were able to sell a few bags of Cafepino with 10 sachets each.
As for me, this is my first time to really “design” something for a particular brand, even if it is my family’s business. I’m happy to know my “client” and their customers were happy about my work!